Crimson Conquers White In 2023 A-Day Game
It is once again that time of year for Alabama football fans to dream of championship pasts and let their imaginations run wild on assumptions of the upcoming fall season. The spring season has reached its climax at the A-day game.
In typical fashion, the Crimson and White teams battled against each other as head coach Nick Saban watched from behind the offense. Both teams focused on the quarterbacks, with Jalen Milroe leading the White team and Ty Simpson leading the Crimson team.
With all eyes on the quarterbacks, Simpson and Milroe had little to no impact on their first drives. However, linebacker Justin Jefferson made the earliest influence on the game, making numerous stops for the White defense.
Milroe started the scoring at the end of the first quarter by showing off his speed on a 35-yard touchdown run, 7-0. On the next drive, Simpson echoed this long run as he scrambled for 45 yards to put the Crimson team knocking on the red zone. Running back Justice Haynes capped off Simpson's run with a 3-yard touchdown to tie the game 7-7 at the start of the second quarter.
While fans assume the starting quarterback job is on either Milroe or Simpson, the other quarterbacks on the team also got to see meaningful playing time. Freshmen Eli Holstein and Dylan Lonergan subbed in for the next drives, with Holstein making the longest pass of the game to that point. While Holstein did not find the endzone, Lonergan stepped in to lead a long, slow offensive drive and gave Justice Haynes his second touchdown on a 6-yard pass.
Kickers Will Reichard and Upton Bellenfant added to the Crimson team lead with field goals at the end of the second and third quarters. Before reaching the fourth quarter, Milroe hit a 36-yard touchdown pass to receiver Emmanuel Henderson Jr. to make it a one-score game, 20-14.
Like in a poker game, Ty Simpson called Milroe's 36-yard pass and raised him a 57-yard pass to Jermaine Burton. The throw did not find the endzone but placed the Crimson team within the five-yard line. Shortly after, Justice Haynes scored his third touchdown on a 2-yard run, putting the Crimson team up 27-14. After another Bellenfant field goal, Milroe ended the game with one last touchdown pass to Malik Benson.
The Crimson team won the game, beating the White squad 30-21. Head coach Nick Saban seemed pleased with what he saw on the field.
"We had a lot of young guys out there," said Saban. "But I think the experience they gained throughout this spring was invaluable and will certainly help us in several positions on our team. and I like this team. I look forward to this team. Are there things that we need to do better? No doubt. We'll focus on those things and work to improve so they're not issues for us in the fall."
The A-day game had an attendance of around 58 thousand people. Unfortunately, with this reminder of Alabama football, fans must wait for the fall to see their favorite players in Crimson and White again.